FCInterNews even captured a “Forza Inter” from Soares as he left the medical facility in Milan:
Assuming Soares passed his medical, and it is a safe bet he did, the next step in the process is to get Soares registered. That could happen later Friday or early next week.
If he does get registered Friday, he could be ready to play Sunday against Torino, but it is more likely he would get his first look at the pitch for Inter next Wednesday in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals against Lazio.
The biggest question surrounding Soares isn’t really the player himself, but more the deal that brought him to the Giuseppe Meazza. He signed with Southampton for €7 million in 2015 and has made 119 appearances for the club since signing.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola initially reported the pre-agreement between Southampton and Inter was for around €20 million. On Thursday Tuttomercato suggested the Nerazzurri picked up Soares for a loan fee of just about €1 million.
Now, Gazzetta dello Sport has reported the loan deal is actually for less than €1 million and that the purchase part of the deal is an option, not an obligation, for only around €10-11 million in the summer.
That is considerably less than the €20 million initially reported, but it does make the deal much better for Inter Milan. It takes the risk of Soares – which there isn’t much to begin with – much less. If he works out, it would be a nominal cost to the Nerazzurri. If he doesn’t, the club won’t be out too much and can send him back at the end of the season.
This deal could be reminiscent of Lisandro Lopez, who was brought over to Inter from Benfica last season. There was a small loan fee (around €400,000) with no obligation to buy. The Nerazzurri wound up sending Lopez back to Portugal as his time at Inter yielded very little (Lopez was subsequently loaned out for this season to Genoa).
The deal would be particularly bad for Southampton. Despite recouping their purchase price from 2015, Soares’ value has gone up a bit since then. Transfermarkt has his market value up to around €16 million, which is quite a bit lower than the €10-11 million Inter would have to pay for his services permanently.
Regardless, this is a good play for Inter as they pick up what could be a very quality right back on the cheap. And, if he doesn’t work out, there is little risk.
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